SEC (2017) INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SEC 39

SEC (2017) INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SEC 39
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
SYLLABUS / LEARNING AND ASSESSMENT PROGRAMME
SEC (2017)
SEC 39
SEC (2017): Information Technology
Contents
Introduction ............................................................................................................................................ 3
Part A: General Policies ........................................................................................................................... 5
A.1. Programme Aim and Objectives .................................................................................................. 5
A.2. Definitions/ Terminology ............................................................................................................. 6
A.3. Assessment .................................................................................................................................. 7
A.3.1. Scope..................................................................................................................................... 7
A.3.2. Programme Grade ................................................................................................................ 7
A.3.3. Important Conditions............................................................................................................ 7
A.3.4. Re-Sits ................................................................................................................................... 7
A.4. Quality Assurance ........................................................................................................................ 8
Part B: Unit Specifications....................................................................................................................... 8
B.1. Introduction ................................................................................................................................. 8
B.2. Interpreting the Unit Specifications............................................................................................. 9
B.2 Unit 1: Computer Systems and Networks....................................................................................... 10
Learning Outcomes ........................................................................................................................... 10
Unit Content...................................................................................................................................... 11
Assessment Criteria .......................................................................................................................... 13
Assessment criteria – Marking scheme ........................................................................................ 14
B.3 Unit 2: Multimedia Systems and Basic Website Design ................................................................. 15
Learning Outcomes ........................................................................................................................... 15
Unit Content...................................................................................................................................... 16
Assessment Criteria .............................................................................................................................. 18
Assessment criteria – Marking scheme ........................................................................................ 19
B.4 Unit 3: Computer Hardware Installation ........................................................................................ 20
Learning Outcomes ........................................................................................................................... 20
Unit Content...................................................................................................................................... 21
Assessment Criteria .......................................................................................................................... 24
Assessment criteria – Marking scheme ........................................................................................ 25
Appendix 1 – Suggested Resources ...................................................................................................... 26
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Introduction
The aim of this learning and assessment programme is to assist secondary schools to manage vocational
programmes, specifically in the planning and implementation of the programme delivery.
This learning and assessment programme is structured into two parts, namely
Part A: General Policies
Part B: Unit Specifications
In Part A, the overall aim and objectives of the programme are explained. Important terms that will be used in
the LAP (Learning and Assessment Programme) will be defined. Additionally, policies, guidelines and strategies
related to assessment practices are documented in this section. Quality Assurance processes and procedures
are also documented in Part A of this document.
In Part B, the detailed specification of the three units that are to be implemented are provided for each unit.
The learning outcomes, together with a brief description of the unit are also stipulated. The assessment
criteria for each unit, together with assessment methods that are to be applied, are presented in this part of
the document.
In order to ensure effective implementation of the programme, important standards and quality assurance
processes and procedures have to be adopted. Standard templates will be provided in a separate document
and will be structured as presented in the table provided overleaf.
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Reference
Template
A
Assignment Brief Front Sheet
A
Record of Internal Verification – Assignment Brief
A
Record of Internal Verification – Assessment
Decision
A
Unit Tracking Sheet Template
QA
Internal Verification Report Templates
QA
External Verification Report Templates
Legend:
A:
Assessment
QA:
Quality Assurance
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Part A: General Policies
A.1. Programme Aim and Objectives
The aim of the vocational programme in Information Technology is to provide learners with the underpinning
knowledge related to Information Technology. By the end of the programme, candidates are expected to have
gained sufficient skills and should be able to apply knowledge and skills.
Upon completing this programme, learners should be able to:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Choose modern computer systems and networks for specific needs.
Install and configure an operating system.
Identify threats and devise security solutions.
Create simple multimedia productions.
Develop static web pages.
Identify suitable components and justify a system installation/replacement/ upgrade.
Carry out, test and document a system installation/upgrade/replacement following good working practices.
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A.2. Definitions/ Terminology
Term
Definition
Assessor
The person responsible to grade the candidates’ work, issue a mark and determine
the candidates’ final grade.
Assessment (Continuous)
A number of tasks given to the candidate during the course; these could be an
individual task or as group work.
Controlled Assessment
An assessment in the form, of an examination and conducted within a school
environment. The minimum time for this assessment is 1 hour.
Learning Outcome
Learning Outcomes are statements, which describe what a qualification represents
in terms of knowledge, skills and competences. The Malta Qualifications Framework
(MQF) defines a learning outcome as what a learner understands and is capable of
doing at the end of the learning process.
Knowledge
Knowledge refers to the understanding of basic, factual and theoretical information,
which is traditionally associated with formal learning but can also be acquired from
informal and non-formal learning.
Skills
Skills imply the application of acquired knowledge and understanding in different
contexts. A skill may be the result of formal learning or of repetitive work in an
informal setting.
Competences
Each competence is defined as a combination of knowledge and skills and is
associated with the level of autonomy and responsibility that the person is expected
to have at that level.
Unit Content
The unit content is the content required to be communicated and given to the
candidate per learning outcome. Each learning outcome must have content related
to it and this content must be delivered to give the candidates the tools to achieve
that outcome.
Assessment Grading Criteria
A description of what a candidate is expected to do in order to demonstrate that a
learning outcome has been achieved.
Sample of Work
A sample of work is a percentage of candidates’ work gathered as a representative
sample for the internal or external verifier.
Quality Assurance
To assure the standards and quality of the learning assessment programme.
Malta Qualification Framework
The Malta Qualifications Framework (MQF) provides an indication of the level of
difficulty as a benchmark for a qualification, which needs to be assigned a level, and
mapped to the framework. The MQF has level descriptors from Level 1 to 8. The
level descriptors are useful for education and training providers as they describe the
Knowledge, Skills and Competences and a set of Learning Outcomes, which indicate
to the learner the end of a learning process.
Synoptic Assessment
A Synoptic Assessment can be defined as an assessment, which is designed to cover
all the assessment grading criteria for a given unit.
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A.3. Assessment
A.3.1. Scope
Assessment is an important element in any learning process. In order to ensure that assessment informs
candidates and at the same time meets important conditions of reliability, validity and fairness, important
rules and procedures must be adhered to. In particular, the assessment regulations and procedures that are
explained in this section will ensure that assessments are:



Of the required standard, quality and level
Fair for all learners
Valid and reliable
Each unit will be assessed by means of three assignments, one of which must be an assessment conducted
within a controlled school environment. The assessment mode/type, criteria to be assessed and marks
distribution are explained in Part B of the programme as part of the unit specifications.
A.3.2. Programme Grade
A cumulative percentage mark, calculated on the basis of a sum total of all the 3 units, determines the final
grade of candidates/ learners. Candidates/ Learners may qualify for Grades 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. The results of
candidates/learners who do not obtain at least a Grade 7 shall remain unclassified.
A.3.3. Important Conditions
Candidates must obtain a minimum of 50 marks in each unit in order to obtain a grade classification.
If a candidate obtains a minimum of 50 in two units, but fails to satisfy the examiner in the remaining unit,
s/he may be eligible to obtain Grade 6 or Grade 7.
If a candidate obtains less than 120 marks, his grade will be Unclassified. The same applies if a candidate does
not obtain at least 50 marks in two units by the end of the programme.
A.3.4. Re-Sits
If for a given unit, the total mark gained by a candidate is less than 50 marks, s/he will be eligible to re-sit. The
re-sit assessment must consist of a synoptic assessment conducted within a school-controlled environment
during the same academic year. The highest possible mark that may be obtained in this case is 60 marks.
Candidates who obtained an average of 50 marks or more on completion of the three tasks for a given unit will
not be eligible for a re-sit to better their original mark.
Candidates who miss the controlled assessment for a justifiable reason will be eligible to sit for the synoptic
assessment and may obtain full marks. The mark obtained in this assessment will replace the controlled
assessment mark. The controlled assessment must not be more than 2 hours long.
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A.4. Quality Assurance
An important aspect of this programme is the quality assurance process that must be conducted throughout
the implementation of the programme. Three main processes are to be conducted as stipulated in the table
below.
Internal Verification of Assessment Briefs
All assessment briefs are to be internally verified before being
issued to the candidates. Within this process important checks
relating to learning outcomes, criteria to be assessed, validated and
reliability are to be performed.
Internal Verification of Assessment
Decisions
Once learners complete their work and assessments have been
corrected, a representative sample of learners’ work is to be
internally verified.
External Verification
The process of external verification will ensure that programme
quality and standards criteria are met.
Part B: Unit Specifications
B.1. Introduction
This part of the programme guide provides detailed specification for each of the 3 units that are to be
implemented for the successful completion of the programme. The curriculum design adopted for the
development of the units of study is based on the learning outcomes approach. The latter can be defined as
“written statements of what a learner should be able to do/know/apply by the end of the learning process.”
The structure of the unit specifications is presented below:
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Unit Title
Unit Description
Learning Outcomes
Unit Content
Assessment Criteria
Assessment Plan
B.2. Interpreting the Unit Specifications.
Under each grading criterion all the content that has to be covered can be found. Examples (e.g.), semi-colons
and commas are used in the Learning and Assessment Programme. When semi-colons are used the students
should be assessed on all the content prescribed. However, when the list is headed with example (e.g.), all the
content is to be covered but the students are expected to be assessed on more than 50% of the content
prescribed for that grading criterion.
In each grading criterion there is a command verb which specifies the level of content expected by the student,
such as list, identify, outline, describe, explain etc. These verbs are defined by MATSEC in the glossary of verbs
available on their website. It is of vital importance that the command verbs specified in the grading criteria
remain unchanged in the assignment brief.
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B.2 Unit 1: Computer Systems and Networks
Unit 1
Computer Systems and Networks
Unit Description
In this unit, candidates will be given a general overview of different types of computer
systems, commonly used in today’s life, and their purpose. Candidates will learn the
main terminology related to a personal computer system and how the different
components of a computer system work together. Through the acquired knowledge,
candidates will be able to identify appropriate peripheral devices and computer
systems for the needs of various computer users. Moreover, they will be able to
identify which computer components affect the system’s performance. Candidates will
also have the opportunity to practice the installation and configuration of an operating
system.
Furthermore, candidates will also be acquainted with the basic terminology related to
computer networks, network size and the organisation of modern networks. The basic
concepts of wired and wireless networks will be covered. In addition, candidates will
also learn about the different user groups and the file and printer sharing permissions
that can be assigned to each user. A hands-on-approach in which candidates are
required to set sharing permissions will also be covered. Different network security
threats and ways to protect the network system from such risks will also be tackled.
Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this unit the learner will be able to:
LO 1. Describe the use of different types of computer systems.
LO 2. Perform basic installation and configuration of computer and operating systems.
LO 3. Understand the basic concepts of computer networking.
LO 4. Set up user-groups and sharing permissions.
LO 5. Set-up third-party security measures.
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Unit Content
LO 1. Describe the use of different types of computer systems.
K-1: List in order the types of computer systems used today by their characteristics.
 Acknowledgment to Historical technology: mainframe; minicomputer.
 Types of computer systems used in today’s life: supercomputer; cluster; desktop computer; laptop;
tablet; e-book reader; gaming rig; smartphone; embedded device; wearables; systems for persons with
special needs.
 Characteristics of computer systems: cost; speed; physical size; target use.
K-2: Describe the specific use for today’s computer systems.
 Specific use: e.g. education, business and commerce, industry, communication, media production,
entertainment, medical and scientific field, biometrics, travel.
C-1: Justify the appropriate computer system with the best price/performance ratio for a given situation.
 Compare computer systems by comparing their performance with the given price: processor type and
speed; RAM; secondary storage; video adapters; cooling systems; power supply (PSU and/or battery).
LO 2. Perform basic installation and configuration of computer and operating systems.
K-3: Present the data flow diagram of a computer system.
 Data Flow Diagram: Input; process (ALU; CU;MU); output; secondary storage; basic I/O subsystem;
flow of control.
K-4: Identify the minimum system requirements for a given operating system.
 Internal Components: RAM; CPU; hard disk type (Solid state; Mechanical) and capacity; graphics card.
K-5: Select the appropriate peripheral devices for a given scenario.
 Peripheral Devices:
o Input devices: e.g. keyboard, optical character reader, 3D scanner;
o Output devices: e.g. printer, monitor, plotter;
o Secondary storage devices e.g. hard disk, optical disk drive, flash drive;
o Accessibility Devices: e.g. braille keyboard, eye tracking system, puff-suck switch.
C-2: Discuss how different internal components of a computer can affect the system’s performance.
A-1: Install an operating system according to user’s needs.


Types of software: system software; application software; utility software.
Install an operating system according to user’s needs:
o Prepare: check operating system requirements; backup;
o Install: setup boot up sequence; select type of installation; setting up partition; setting a
restore point;
o Customize: create a second account; setup an operating system accessibility option;
personalise a desktop feature; add a secondary keyboard language.
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LO 3. Understand the basic concepts of computer networking.
K-6: Outline the basic terms related to data communication and network technology.
 Basic data communication and network technology terminology:
o Data services: client server model; peer-to peer;
o Data transmission media e.g. telephone line, coaxial cable, Ethernet cable, optical cable,
Bluetooth, satellite links, terrestrial microwaves;
o Other terms: e.g. bandwidth, broadband, Network Interface Card (NIC), modem, router,
switch, protocol.
C-3: Justify the best network set-up for a given scenario.
 Types of networks: LAN or WAN;

Network set-up: wired or wirless; range; brandwidth speed; use of repeaters and/or access points;
security.
LO 4. Set up user groups and sharing permissions.
K-7: Describe the common local user groups.
 Local user groups: administrator account; limited user account; guest account.
K-8: Present file and printer sharing procedures.
 File sharing procedure: e.g. share with, public;
 Printer sharing procedure.
C-4: Distinguish between standard user groups and different sharing permission types.
 Different standard user groups e.g. administrator account, limited user account, guest account.
 Different sharing permissions e.g. read, read/write, modify, full control.
A-2: Create local user account/s in conjunction with file and printer sharing.
 Create and test file and printer sharing permissions.
LO 5: Set-up third party security measures.
K-9: Outline the role of firewalls in safeguarding computer networks.
 Role of firewalls: e.g. alert and protect networks from unauthorised access, monitor incoming and
outgoing data, allows the user to control which programs can or cannot access the local network
and/or internet, provide information of target outgoing server, blacklisting, whitelisting.
K-10: Outline the malware protection plan.
 Malware protection plan e.g. firewall, anti-malware, restore point, security updates, disk freezing, sand
boxing, backup, adware filtering.
C-5: Explain issues related to network security threats and protection.
 Network security threats: e.g. malware, botnet, hacking, Denial of Service attack, tunnelling;
 Network protection: e.g. firewall, anti-malware, restore point, security updates, disk freezing, sand
boxing, backup, adware filtering.
A-3: Install a third-party internet security suite.
 Install third party internet security suite; modify firewall settings to include/exclude a website; run a
quick system scan; remove/quarantine a threat from an external storage device; update security keys.
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Assessment Criteria
Assessment criteria provide guidance on how the learners will be assessed in order to ensure that the learning
outcome has been achieved. To achieve each outcome a learner must satisfy the following assessment criteria.
The assessment criteria which will be assessed in the controlled assessment have been highlighted.
LO
Knowledge
LO 1
K-1: List in order the types of
computer systems used today
by their characteristics.
K-2: Describe the specific use
for today’s computer systems.
LO 2
Comprehension
Application
C-1: Justify the appropriate
computer system with the best
price/performance ratio for a
given situation.
K-3: Present the data flow
diagram of a computer
system.
K-4: Identify the minimum
system requirements for a
given operating system.
C-2: Discuss how different
internal components of a
computer can affect the
system’s performance.
A-1: Install an operating system
according to user’s needs.
K-5: Select the appropriate
peripheral devices for a given
scenario.
LO 3
LO 4
K-6: Outline the basic terms
related to data
communication and network
technology.
K-7: Describe the common
local user groups.
K-8: Present file and printer
sharing procedures.
L05
K-9: Outline the role of
firewalls in safeguarding
computer networks.
K-10: Outline the malware
protection plan.
C-3: Justify the best network
set-up for a given scenario.
C-4: Distinguish between
standard user groups and
different sharing permission
types.
C-5: Explain issues related to
network security threats and
protection.
A-2: Create local user
account/s in conjunction with
file and printer sharing.
A-3: Install a third-party
internet security suite.
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Assessment criteria – Marking scheme
4 marks are to be allocated for each knowledge assessment criteria (K1 to K10), for a total of 40 marks.
6 marks are to be allocated for each comprehension assessment criteria (C1 to C5), for a total of 30 marks.
10 marks are to be allocated for each application assessment criteria (A1 to A3), for a total of 30 marks.
Ass. No.
Assessment Mode
Percentage distribution
1
2
3
Assignment 1
Assignment 2
Controlled
26 - 34%
26 - 34%
38 - 42%
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B.3 Unit 2: Multimedia Systems and Basic Website Design
Unit 2
Multimedia Systems and Basic Website Design
Unit Description
This unit presents a general introduction to digital multimedia systems. It enables
candidates to explore techniques associated with the development of an interactive
multimedia product. The learners will learn about multimedia system components,
their roles, features and characteristics. Learners will be familiar with the basic types
and characteristics of text, images, audios, animations and computer video formats. In
order to be able to apply the knowledge obtained, learners will learn how to use
multimedia hardware components and multimedia application software for media
processing. Learners will learn how to use software applications for editing audio files.
They will be able to select and use video software tools and techniques to edit video
sequences. This will allow learners to use experimental and creative approaches while
acquiring production skills. By combining text, images, animations, audios and videos,
and applying filters and effects, the learners will be able to develop a multimedia
project using video editing software.
Learners will also be able to design and create static web pages and simple websites.
This unit will enable learners to achieve basic understanding of the principles of
professional web design and development. Learners will also learn about web design
standards and why they are important.
Learning Outcomes
Upon completing the unit, learners should be able to:
LO1. Describe different multimedia systems and list their attributes.
LO2. Modify and create digital images and animation.
LO3. Use video editing software to develop a multimedia project.
LO 4. Plan and design a website according to specific requirements.
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Unit Content
LO1. Describe different multimedia systems and list their attributes.
K-1: Describe different multimedia systems.
 Different multimedia systems: e.g. websites, gaming, social media, CAD, CBT, virtual reality,
holograms, information kiosks, simulations.
K-2: List the format of different multimedia components.
 Multimedia components and format:
o Text: e.g. doc, docx, txt, text, rtf, asc, sub;
o Images: e.g jpeg, png, tiff, bmp, pdf, jfif, rif;
o Audio: e.g. mp3, wav, flac, aiff, vob, aac, ogg;
o Video: e.g. avi, wmv, mp4, mkv, h.264, mpeg, mov;
o Animation: e.g. gif, fla, swf, flv, flc, swi, fli.
C-1: Justify the most appropriate multimedia project for a given scenario.
 Justifications based on: e.g. Audience, costs, I/O devices, software resources, time-limitation.
LO2. Modify and create digital images and animation.
K-3: Relate between different image file types with their qualities.
 Image file types: e.g: jpeg, png, tiff, bmp, pdf, jfif, rif;
 Image Quality: e.g. lossy, lossless, uncompressed, raster, vector, resolution, colour depth.
K-4: Identify different image effects.
 Image effects: e.g. brightness, contrast, gamma, hue, saturation, colour balance, sketch.
C-2 Describe the different layers involved in creating a composite image.
Different layers:
 blending options:e.g. hard light, overlay, muliple, darkness vivid, soflight;
 layer effects: e.g. drop shadow, inner shadow, inner glow, outer glow, bevel/emboss.
A-1 Create a simple animation.
 Simple basic animation: Minimum of 20 frames.
LO3. Use video editing software to develop a multimedia project.
K-5: Relate between different types of audio files and their characteristics.
 Audio files and their characteristics:
o Audio file types: e.g. mp3, wav, flac, aiff, vob, aac, ogg;
o Audio characteristics: compression, quality, lossy, lossless.
K-6 Relate between different types of video files and their characteristics.
 Video files and their characteristics:
o Video file types: e.g. avi, wmv, mp4, mkv, h.264, mpeg, mov;
o Video characteristics: compression, quality, lossy, lossless.
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K-7 Define audio related terminology.
 Terminology: e.g. Amplification, threshold, pitch, reverb, echo, tempo, noise removal, cross fade,
equalization, delay, inversion, loop, multichannel, bass, treble, compression, mixing, splitting,
clipping.
K-8 Define video related terminology.
 Terminology: e.g. PAL/NTSC, 4K, sequence, fade in/fade out, transitions, wipe, aspect ratio, keyframe.
C-3 Justify the most appropriate audio and video files for a given scenario.
 Justifications based on: quality; size; compatibility; time-limitation (upload/download); costs; aspect
ratio.
A-2: Produce an audio/visual production for a given scenario.
 Planning: storyboard; sequence; background music; effects; narration; filters; angle; text;
 Production: different videos; transitions; images/photos; sound; audio effects; video effects;
 Output: type of format; aspect ratio; codec; PAL and NTSC; frame rate, publishing medium.
LO 4. Plan and design a website according to specific requirements
K-9: Identify the basic features of a website.
 Basic Features: static or dynamic; drop down menu; search box; font size; colour scheme; metadata;
hyperlinks; tags.
K-10: List the advantages of using CSS with HTML.
 Advantages: interactivity; design and templates; separation of presentation from content; internal
and external CSS.
C-4: Explain the features of a website for a specific scenario.
 Features:
o Use: Commercial or educational or state services or entertainment or learning management
system (LMS) or content management system (CMS);
o Static or dynamic;
o Interactive: e.g. feedback form, contact form, hyperlink/hypermedia.
C-5: Explain different HTML tags and their respective attributes in a given code snippet.
 HTML tags: e.g. <html>,<head>, <h1>,<body>, <p>, <table>, <tr>,<td>,<hr>, <ol>, <ul>,<li>,
<img>,<a>, <div>, <span>;
 Attributes e.g. alternative text, language, id, class, source.
A-3: Create a website using HTML and CSS.
 Planning: wireframe layout for a 3-page static website; navigational structure; theme; image
placeholder; text placeholder; video placeholder;
 Development: internal and external CSS; design;
 Testing and Maintenance;
 Online publishing.
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Assessment Criteria
Assessment criteria provide guidance on how the learners will be assessed in order to ensure that the learning
outcome has been achieved. To achieve each outcome a learner must satisfy the following assessment criteria.
The assessment criteria which will be assessed in the controlled assessment have been highlighted.
LO
Knowledge
Comprehension
Application
LO1
K-1: Describe different multimedia
systems.
K-2: List the format of different
multimedia components.
LO2
K-3: Relate between different image
file types with their qualities.
K-4: Identify different image effects.
LO3
C-1: Justify the most
appropriate multimedia project
for a given scenario.
C-2 Describe the different layers
involved in creating a composite
image.
A-1 Create a simple
animation.
K-5: Relate between different types of
audio files and their characteristics.
K-6 Relate between different types of
video files and their characteristics.
K-7 Define audio related terminology.
C-3 Justify the most appropriate
audio and video files for a given
scenario.
A-2: Produce an
audio/visual
production for a given
scenario.
K-8 Define video related terminology.
K-9: Identify the basic features of a
website.
C-4: Explain the features of a
website for a specific scenario.
LO4
K-10: List the advantages of using CSS
with HTML.
C-5: Explain different HTML tags
and their respective attributes
in a given code snippet.
A-3: Create a website
using HTML and CSS.
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Assessment criteria – Marking scheme
4 marks are to be allocated for each knowledge assessment criteria (K1 to K10), for a total of 40 marks.
6 marks are to be allocated for each comprehension assessment criteria (C1 to C5), for a total of 30 marks.
10 marks are to be allocated for each application assessment criteria (A1 to A3), for a total of 30 marks.
Ass. No.
Assessment Mode
Percentage distribution
1
2
3
Assignment 1
Assignment 2
Controlled
26 - 34%
26 - 34%
38 - 42%
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B.4 Unit 3: Computer Hardware Installation
Unit 3
Computer Hardware Installation
Unit Description
In this unit, learners will recognise when computer systems need to be upgraded or
need hardware components. They will learn about risks to the human beings and
electronic components when installing/ upgrading/replacing internal hardware and
take the necessary precautions.
Learners will also be able to identify the source of the hardware problem and be able
to perform the necessary maintenance in order to solve the problem. In this process,
they will acquire the necessary skills to be able to perform an internal hardware
component installation, replacement or upgrade while at the same time be able to
install and configure the necessary software.
Learners will also learn about the importance of documenting the
installation/replacement/upgrade process, registering components and testing the
computer system to ensure that it works and therefore, verify that the
installation/upgrade/replacement is successfully carried out.
Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this unit, the learner will be able to:
LO 1. Identify the reasons which require a hardware/software installation/ upgrade/ replacement.
LO 2. Identify the risks involved when performing an installation/upgrade/replacement and take the necessary
precautions to avoid such risks on both human and electronic component terms.
LO 3. Install/Upgrade/Replace internal hardware components and configure the necessary software.
LO 4. Document an installation/upgrade/replacement and identify the importance of registering products.
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Unit Content
LO 1. Identify the reasons which require a hardware/software installation/ upgrade/ replacement.
K-1: State reasons which require a computer upgrade.
 Reasons for upgrade: e.g. user requirements, compatibility, increase storage capacity, increase
processing speed, increase hardware reliability, software requirements.
C-1: Describe the implications induced by hardware/software installation/ upgrade/ replacement.
 Implications: user training/re-training; hardware compatibility; software compatibility;
decommissioning of hardware; service level agreements on new systems; migration of data.
LO 2. Identify the risks involved when performing an installation/ upgrade/ replacement and take
the necessary precautions to avoid such risks on both human and electronic component terms.
K-2: Identify good health and safety practices on the work place.
 Good health and safety practices: no food/drink/smoking near workplace; clear fire exists; fire
fighting equipment at hand; no trailing cables; enough space; good ventialtion; adequate clothing;
organised equipment.
K-3: Describe the risks involved when replacing/installing/upgrading hardware components.
 Risks:
o Electrostatic discharge;
o Physical damage to equipment;
o Negative impact on data (data loss and data corruption);
o Human injury (cuts, bruises, harm to the eye).
C-2: Discuss precautions which must be taken to avoid risks when installing/ upgrading/ replacing hardware
components.
 Precautions: e.g. use of anti-static equipment, use of appropriate tools, watch out for excessive force,
take data backups, use data recovery tools, wear appropriate clothing.
LO 3. Install/Upgrade/Replace internal hardware components and configure the necessary
software.
K-4 Identify compatible components for a given motherboard.
Components: RAM; CPU; heat sink; hard disk; graphics card; sound card; network card; power supply unit.
K-5: Outline the correct working procedures which must be followed during a replacement/ installation/
upgrade keeping in mind health and safety procedures.
Working procedures:
o
identify the problem and think of a possible solution;
o
check for compatibility;
o
take data backups;
o
prepare the necessary equipment and clean up the computer system;
o
install components in the correct order;
o
test the computer system;
o
restore data and install the necessary software;
o
set a system restore point.
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K-6: Describe ways which can be used to test an installation/upgrade/replacement.

Ways: BIOS; operating system file manager; device manager; third-party diagnostic tools.
K-7: Identify hardware problems from the BIOS.

Beep codes identifying hardware problems: e.g. system board error, video adapter error, keyboard
adapter error, power supply error, processor error, memory test failure;

Post-test read-outs identifying hardware problems: amount of memory; identify drives; date-time
setting; processor test.
K-8: Identify issues which can cause an installation/ upgrade/replacement to be unsuccessful.

Issues: Loose or wrongly inserted connections; internally broken cables; dead-on-arrival (DOA)
components; installing components in the wrong slot.
C-3. Explain a plan to pinpoint a system fault.

System fault: e.g. computer not starting or boot up disk not found or computer continuously
restarting or no audio output or no video output or network connection.
C-4: Justify which hardware components and their specifications need to be installed/upgraded/ replaced
for a given scenario.
Hardware components: e.g. RAM, hard disk, graphics card, sound card, optical drives, PSU, cooling system,
battery, external storage, motherboard.
A-1: Carry out the necessary preparations required to perform a hardware replacement/installation/
upgrade.
Preparation:

Obtain and check resources (tools, anti-static equipment, cleaning tools, hardware components,
software, access rights);

Develop a test plan;

Record hardware components serial numbers;

Open up computer case following Health and Safety procedures;

Read the necessary hardware installation guides.
A-2: Install/upgrade/ replace hardware components and configure the necessary software.
Install/upgrade/replace:
 Remove hardware components which are to be replaced;
 Install new hardware components: e.g. RAM, hard disk, graphics card, sound card, optical drives.
 Reassemble computer;
 Install and configure any necessary software;
 Confirm that the installed hardware is functioning.
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LO 4. Document an installation/upgrade/replacement and identify the importance of registering
products.
K-9: Describe the importance of documenting an installation/upgrade/replacement.
 Importance of documentation: record keeping of work done; warranties of any components;
completed test plan; reference point for trouble shooting.
K-10: List the advantages of registering products.

Advantages: e.g. Hardware updates, software updates, technical assistance, proof of purchase,
service level agreement, promotional offers.
C-5: Explain the different types of computer maintenance required in a particular scenario.
 Sorts of maintenance:
o Preventative: e.g. ensure that air vents are free from dust, take regular backups, cleaning the
system;
o Corrective: e.g. replace parts when they malfunction, re-attach cables which have come loose, reinstall software which has become corrupt;
o Perfective :e.g. increase memory, increase screen size, upgrade to a more powerful software
application;
o Adaptive: e.g. use adaptors to connect older hardware to new systems or vice-versa, install
drivers to accommodate new peripherals, convert old files to work with new version of
application.
A-3: Document the installation/upgrade/replacement.
 Documentation stating:
o Reason/s for upgrade/installation/replacement due to a fault or user requirement;
o Suggested installation/upgrades/replacements;
o Implemented changes;
o Log of serial numbers;
o 2 tests for each component installed/upgraded/replaced and their respective results.
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Assessment Criteria
Assessment criteria provide guidance on how the learners will be assessed in order to ensure that the learning
outcome has been achieved. To achieve each outcome a learner must satisfy the following assessment criteria.
The assessment criteria which will be assessed in the controlled assessment have been highlighted.
LO
Knowledge
LO 1
K-1: State reasons which require a
computer upgrade.
LO 2
K-2: Identify good health and safety
practices on the work place.
K-3: Describe the risks involved
when replacing/installing/upgrading
hardware components.
LO 3
Comprehension
Application
C-1: Describe the implications
induced by
hardware/software
installation/ upgrade/
replacement.
C-2: Discuss precautions
which must be taken to avoid
risks when installing/
upgrading/ replacing
hardware components.
K-4 Identify compatible components
for a given motherboard.
K-5: Outline the correct working
procedures which must be followed
during a replacement/ installation/
upgrade keeping in mind health and
safety procedures.
K-6: Describe ways which can be used
to test an installation/ upgrade/
replacement.
C-3. Explain a plan to pinpoint
a system fault.
C-4: Justify which hardware
components and their
specifications need to be
installed/upgraded/ replaced
for a given scenario.
K-7: Identify hardware problems from
the BIOS.
A-1: Carry out the
necessary preparations
required to perform a
hardware replacement/
installation/ upgrade.
A-2: Install/upgrade/
replace hardware
components and
configure the necessary
software.
K-8: Identify issues which can cause an
installation/ upgrade/replacement to
be unsuccessful.
LO 4
K-9: Describe the importance of
documenting an installation/
upgrade/ replacement.
K-10: List the advantages of
registering products.
C-5: Explain the different
types of computer
maintenance required in a
particular scenario.
A-3: Document the
installation/ upgrade/
replacement.
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Assessment criteria – Marking scheme
4 marks are to be allocated for each knowledge assessment criteria (K1 to K10), for a total of 40 marks.
6 marks are to be allocated for each comprehension assessment criteria (C1 to C5), for a total of 30 marks.
10 marks are to be allocated for each application assessment criteria (A1 to A3), for a total of 30 marks.
Ass. No.
Assessment Mode
Percentage distribution
1
2
3
Assignment 1
26 - 34%
Assignment 2
26 - 34%
Controlled
38 - 42%
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Appendix 1 – Suggested Resources
This list is not intended to be exhaustive but should be taken as a guide.
Common
Access to a School Computer Laboratory with internet access, Projector and sound system
Two Lockable Storage Cabinets for tools and consumables.
Separate Storage room with shelving and cabinets for Lab computers and spare parts
1 x 4GB USB per student
4 x Printer / Scanner / Photocopier (3 in 1) - (USB recommended) per lab
1 x External Storage Hard disk
Ilearn Cloud Storage
Additional Equipment related to Health and Safety e.g. First Aid Box, Fire extinguisher
Form 3
Hardware
Air-conditioned Computer Workshop area with Class-work tables
Work-station tables
20 computers including DVD-writer and monitors,
Electrical Power outlets,
Extra network jacks,
Elevated storage shelves for Routers and Switches,
Network cables.
2 x Internet Wireless Router
2 x Internet Network Switches – 24 port
Software
A recent Operating System – e.g. Windows 7 / 8 or 8.1/10 plus Key for Installation
Internet Security Suite e.g. Comodo
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Form 4
Hardware
Air-conditioned Computer Lab,
4 x Digital Video Camera complete with Tripod
Suggested Software
Image editing software e.g. GIMP, pixlr
Sound editing software e.g. Audacity, WavePad Sound Editor
Video editing software e.g. Shotcut, Lightworks
Website editing software e.g. BlueGriffon, OpenElement.
Form 5
Hardware
Air-conditioned Computer Workshop area with Class-work tables,
Work-station tables, 20 computers including DVD-writer and monitors,
Electrical Power outlets,
Extra network jacks,
Elevated storage shelves for Routers and Switches,
Network cables,
20 x functional old computers (Dual Core and above) with mice, keyboard and monitors.
16 x Computer repair Tool-kits (one per student)
16 x Electrostatic bench mats (one per student)
16 x Electrostatic wrist bands and earthing leads (one per student)
1 x Mini compressor
1 x UPS
Hardware components which are to be used during the installation/ upgrade/ replacement
RAM
Hard disks
Graphics cards
Sound cards
Optical disks
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Software
A recent Operating System e,g, Windows 7 / 8 or 8.1/10 plus Key for Installation in case it is necessary during
the installation of a hard disk drive
Diagnostic software tool e.g. CPU-Z, Speccy.
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